High humidity effects?

Discussion in 'Wine Cellar & Storage Forum' started by Ajmassa, Oct 23, 2019.

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  1. Oct 23, 2019 #1

    Ajmassa

    Ajmassa

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    Seeking insight on how high humidity effects wine in bulk. Researching I just found all the typical stuff. More ethanol in angels share, labels deteriorate, mold forming etc etc.
    But nothing about my issue, and humidity seems to be the only logical cause. Room is always humid. Currently at 100%. Wines in bulk (demi’s/carboys/barrel), proper so2, topped up, airlocks/breathable bungs, & steady 67°-70° temps.
    The wine’s surfaces routinely get ‘dirty’- tho it doesn’t negatively affect the wine itself. Never off odors to it, but gunks up the necks nasty. Almost as if sediment or suspended solids rise to the top building up around the glass. Higher ph wines forms at faster rates. I clean it every so often. But also not occurring in 100% of the vessels either.
    Humid basement is a byproduct of larger issue. I have some updating to the properties storm lines/French drains/sump pumps before i further seal and finish the basement walls. And I’ll be getting a dehumidifier in the meantime regardless.
    But does this humidity theory sound plausible? IMG_7592.JPG IMG_7596.JPG
     
  2. Oct 23, 2019 #2

    bshef

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    I get that too. I thought it was residue from secondary fermentation. It doesn't affect the wine but I try to wipe it off before racking. I don't know that it has to do with humidity but I could be wrong. Any other thoughts?
     
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  3. Oct 23, 2019 #3

    Johnd

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    @Ajmassa , can't say whether or not the humidity in your room is a cause or contributor to the things you mention, but I do believe that you should endeavor to keep your humidity down at a more desirable level, at least in the 70% - 75% range. You could certainly spend a boat load of money on one, and depending on the size of your area, this little dude seems to be reasonable considering the range of stuff that came up in a search:

    https://www.uline.com/Product/Detai...VB4iGCh1pyA75EAQYAyABEgLPAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

    It has its own sensor / setting, so you could set it and let it do its thing. If you could rig it up to a drain, it might just be trouble free............
     
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  4. Oct 23, 2019 #4

    Ajmassa

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    That specific dehumidifier came up in my recent searches. And had really good reviews. I’ll see if this ULINE is available locally at all.
    But yea regardless of the cause I still gotta get this going. The ground water issue only got worse and I’m in the midst of addressing it. Lots of digging! But a quality dehumidifier is long overdue. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
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  5. Oct 23, 2019 #5

    Ajmassa

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    I don’t know what it is. But my wines are against the exterior wall which is masonry coated with drylock. Even framed Pictures on the wall end up ruined from the dampness.

    Once I get the humidity under control I’ll at least be able to rule it out as a cause if that ends up the case.

    It’s odd though. Some vessels are clear and clean and all pretty. Others of the SAME WINE not so much. The wine gods are toying with me!
     
  6. Oct 25, 2019 #6

    CDrew

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    The humidity in the neck of a sealed carboy is 100% regardless of what's around it. So I doubt the humidity is the source of that problem. But it does seem reasonable to keep ground water out of your basement.

    Looks like you have some wine to bottle!
     
  7. Oct 25, 2019 #7

    stickman

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    If I had to speculate on this one, I'd say the issue is most likely liquid expansion due to temperature fluctuations combined to a greater or lesser degree with suspended yeast and bacteria, the wine moves up and down like a piston pump leaving a small deposit being pushed up each time, like the tide moving sand on the shore, the larger volume demijohns have a greater stroke due to the expansion of a greater volume of liquid.

    I'm sure at some micro level the humidity plays a role with what components pass through the silicone/rubber, the vapor in the headspace of the vessel is not the same as the room, so components will move through the elastomer and sealing surface due to a concentration gradient; I don't believe that this is of any practical significance, but just wanted to point out that it does occur. A barrel has some similar effect as it been shown to preferentially evaporate ethanol when stored in 100% ambient humidity.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
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  8. Oct 25, 2019 #8

    Ajmassa

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    Thank you for the insight. And regardless of the chemistry involved - I kinda figured this on a very general level and realized there’s likely a lot more factoring in than I realize. But still thinking if I :
    -Handle my groundwater issue-
    -therefore handling the ongoing humidity issue
    -properly vapor seal, insulate and finish the room
    -with a steady control of temp

    would likely remove the issue. And will Gypsy rig the area for now until ready to do it up proper. Thanks
     

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